When We Lose a Loved Pet.

Quite a few of the people who visit this site, or the Ark itself, have recently lost a loved pet and are either looking for a
new pet to fill the awful gap left by the departed one, or are not ready to take that step yet, but need the contact with other dogs or cats.This page is dedicated to those “lost” pets and their heart-broken owners and if it brings comfort to just one of them it will be worthwhile.Losing a loved pet is no trivial thing and cannot be brushed away and life carried on as if nothing had happened. For many life will never be the same again; the hole left by the departed pet cannot be filled and the grief can be as painful and real as if a close human had passed away.

The poems below need a box of tissues nearby before reading commences but many people have written to say that, although they found them upsetting to read, they also found them helpful and comforting.

Read and be comforted and, if it helps to write to us about the pet you miss so much and/or send us a picture, please feel free to do so. We’ll read every one and reply to them too.



We recently received a sad email about a resident from years ago:

“We got our lovely dog from you , must be 8/9 years ago, maybe longer – his Ark name was Branston – he got to the good age of 16 and sadly we had to have him put down today, but he had a fantastic life and it was for the best. I’m not sure if anyone there will remember him. xx”

There are some of us at the Ark that do remember little Branston and we all send our sympathy to his family who must be missing him loads. 




Lulu came into the Ark for the second time In April 2017 because her owner had gone into care. At the time we understood she was 16/17 years old but further information suggested she was probably 13 years old, still a good age for a Staffy. She went to live as the virtually constant companion of  a gentleman on the south coast and enjoyed 5* treatment there. Sadly, all good things must come to an end and we’ve received sad news from him:

“Just to let you know that my beautiful lovely Lulu passed this evening (13th August 2018). She started to develop a severe limp and unusual gait a few weeks ago. Metacam seemed to help initially as the vet and I felt she had arthritis but mid week last week her back legs started to go, walking in circles, tilting to one side.. The vet initially thought Old Dog Vestibular Disease, however after he came on Friday, he said It was clear that she was symptomatic with a brain tumour so we put her to sleep tonight at around 6pm. It was very peaceful, she went in my arms on her favourite sofa.

“She was the loveliest of dogs, and I feel privileged to have shared the last 14 months of her life with her. We had lots of lovely seafront walks, trips up to London, and everyone I work with loved her. She got freshly cooked food every day, tons of cuddles, and went with me (literally) everywhere. I never left her alone for more than a couple of hours and even that was rare. I will truly miss her to bits, she was such a gentle soul and I really hope I made her last year a comfort to her. She was a really special soul, and she has left a huge hole in my world.”

Our hearts go out to Isaac at this sad time and we all send him our sympathy.



We’ve just heard the sad news of the sudden death of one of our more mature residents, Ben, a lovely gentle giant who left us for a lovely retirement home. His sad owners have sent us the following message:

“So very sorry to say that Ben was diagnosed with a large solid mass in his lower abdomen yesterday, 10th April, and was put to sleep at around 9 a.m.

“It was a big shock, but we managed to hide our sadness from him, while we kissed, cuddled, and stroked him. We spoke to him all the time, and told him that we loved him, whilst he was drifting off to sleep.

“Still numb with shock and absolutely heartbroken.

“We have asked for Bens ashes to be returned to us in a casket, which we intend to put on the dining room dresser, between his two “step-sisters”. Really missing him ….. When he comes home from the crematorium, at least we’ll feel that he’s back where he belongs ….. with us.”

So many of us have been in this sad situation and our sympathy goes to Ben’s “Mum & Dad”



Rodney came into the Ark when he was 4 years old so has lived to a good age. He’s was a very large rabbit and very friendly. His owner has written to let us know of his loss:

“I would just like to let you know that I lost Rodney the Grey rabbit I got from you about five years ago. He was greatly loved and remained a house rabbit all his life, I miss him deeply. He shared a pen with Rupert as I remember. He died peacefully in my arms the vet thinks it could have been old age and a tumour, I hope you can let his previous owners know he was looked after well and loved. Thank you”

What a lovely way for a pet to go, in the arms of the person who loved him most.



Back in June 2008, Robbie, aged 6 years a Lab X Retriever came into the Ark with his 12 year old mum Fila, a Retriever cross, because their owners were moving house and couldn’t take them. They were inseparable and Robbie was particularly dependent on his mum, so they had to be rehomed together. Then Flia was found to have a mammary tumour which required treatment as well as temporary separation and Robbie’s devastation at not sharing his kennel with his mum for a while was pitiful.

In 2009 we found them a lovely family home together where they lived happily until Fila died a few years later. Once again Robbie was grief-stricken and it was the family’s teenage son who seemed to understand Robbie so well who brought him round and developed a wonderful bond with him. We’ve now heard that Robbie died recently at around 15 years old and the family, understandably, miss him a lot. They’ve written to tell us the sad news:

“I just wanted to let you know that we have said goodbye to our beloved Robbie. We adopted Fila and Robbie from yourselves, I think around 2009. Robbie was a very old boy and his kidneys failed and on the vet’s advice we had him put to sleep. We absolutely loved the time we had with him and the whole family miss him terribly. Many thanks to the Ark for allowing us to adopt Fila and Robbie all those years ago! They both brought us so much happiness.”

He was a beautiful boy and in the perfect home to understand his quite complex needs.


Mystic & Kimmi

mysticThis family has lost two much loved pets in a short space of time.

First of all was Mystic on 26th September when they wrote:

“It is with a very heavy heart that I have to inform you that our beautiful Mystic is being put to sleep today. We adopted her from you about 11 year ago and she has been the most perfect dog. She has been spoilt rotten and loved so much. Sadly her demise has happened quickly and the vet thinks there is a problem with her brain. We don’t want her to suffer any longer and this is our final act of kindness, although it is the hardest. Thank you so much for letting us take her home all those years ago.”

As if that weren’t bad enough, now their other dog Kimmi has passed away on 27th November.:

kimmi“It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you that this morning our beautiful Kimmi went across Rainbow Bridge. Kimmi had an underactive thyroid and skin condition that required daily steroid tablet, she was also suffering with arthritis.  Despite having these conditions for several years, they were finally having a toll on her and her quality of life was greatly reduced, especially over this weekend.  Our vet agreed with our decision. Kimmi has been a wonderful dog and a special friend.  We have loved having every second with her and are grateful that we were able to offer her a home. Losing Kimmi so soon after losing Mystic is difficult, but I know it was the right thing to let her go today.

“This attached photo was taken a couple of weeks ago. Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to have Kimmi in our lives.”

Both dogs were ex-Ark dogs and had been in their homes for many years. Our hearts go out to their human family in their double loss and our thanks for giving two rescue dogs such a loving home.




Bartley was signed over to the Ark when his former owners were unable to keep him but he was quickly snapped up and now his heartbroken owners have written to tell us he has sadly died:

“It’s with a broken heart I have to let you know 6.5 years after bringing Bartley home from your rescue he has passed on this afternoon at the age of 13. We are completley heart broken and already the house feels so empty. I’ve attached some of our favourite photos of him over the past years with him. He has always been such a good boy and when I had my baby boy last year I was worried about how he might be with him being a grumpy old man by then. He adored our little boy and didn’t mind helping him learn to walk our son would place his hand on Bartley’s back and they would slowly wander across the floor. Little one always patted him, climbed over him and gave him extra fuss which Bartley loved. He was a big cuddly teddy bear with a very loud nasty sounding bark that didn’t really like other dogs. Bartley was the best dog we could ever have wished for.

“Thank you for letting us adopt him and bring him home with us to create the amazing family we had. I will always treasure the memories of Bartley either at one of the stable yards when I had my horse, sun bathing in the garden, snoring on the sofa, stealing the bed and duvet and just cuddles, licks and those gorgeous brown eyes.”

We knew Bartley was a special boy and that’s what he’s proved to be. Our sympathy goes to his family at this sad time.








We’ve just had sad news of Mystic who was adopted from the Ark 11 years ago. It’s not often we hear from friends of so long ago but so mysticnice that owners still want to share their good and bad news with us of our past residents:

“It is with a very heavy heart that I have to inform you that our beautiful Mystic is being put to sleep today.(26th Sept ’17). We adopted her from you about 11 year ago and she has been the most perfect dog. She has been spoilt rotten and loved so much. Sadly her demise has happened quickly and the vet thinks there is a problem with her brain. We don’t want her to suffer any longer and this is our final act of kindness, although it is the hardest. Thank you so much for letting us take her home all those years ago.”

It’s always sad to lose a loved pet, but when it has been so much a member of the family for so long, it’s doubly hard to make that decision. It’s a measure of the love her family had for her that they did her this one last service. Run free now Mystic.




Charlie came into our boarding kennels when his owner went into hospital. When it became obvious he would no longer be able to look after Charlie, we were asked to transfer him to our rescue kennels and find him a new home. He was overweight and suffered from arthritis, so we put him on a reducing diet and and he was on JointAid and went to his new home quickly. We’ve just heard the sad news that Charlie has sadly died:

Just a little message to let you know that handsome Charlie (15) has now gone across the rainbow bridge. We were lucky to have been blessed with him for 3 years and he was a well-loved special boy, who we will dearly miss. Xx”

We know he would have had wonderful care in his new home and the fact that he lasted another three years is testament to that. We’re so pleased that Charlie had that love and comfort for his final years. You can tell how happy he was by the lovely photos.









stanstanStanley came to the Ark when he started nipping as he got older because he no longer liked children prodding and generally annoying him. Quite understandable for an older boy. But he was soon adopted into  a calmer home where he’s lived happily ever since. His family have just let us know that they’ve recently lost their dear old boy and sent us pictures and an epitaph:

“We adopted Stan 10 years old in June 2013.
Stan just wanted to be left alone having a quiet retirement!
He was a great companion for William our cocker spaniel, best pals!
Stan became part of our family, and far from being left alone he became very affectionate demanding attention and fuss!
Stan knew we would never let him come to any harm, we never allowed the grandchildren to be boisterous with him and in return he became very attached to them, he laid with our disabled daughter when she became poorly with glandular fever.
Stan stayed fit and healthy until around 6 months ago at 14 years old he starting showing his age.
Leading up to the 5th August 2017, Stan made it clear he’d had enough, however he never lost his appetite! Just his body wouldn’t work for him.
He had us lay with him on many occasion almost telling us enough was enough.
We let Stan go peacefully, the vet said he was ready.
Stan was a gentleman to the end, a proper character who will never be forgotten, we all miss you ! RIP Stanley! X”

We all join in sending our sympathy to Stan’s family and hope all the wonderful memories will sustain them in their loss.


dottydottyDotty came into the Ark with her best friend Bruno, aged 15 and 17 years respectively following the death of their owner.They were bewildered and defensive at first but gradually accepted their new situation and accepted us. They were adopted together as we couldn’t contemplate separating them and we heard last year that, sadly, Bruno had died. Now we’ve had the same news of Dotty and their family has written of them:

“Just writing to let you know the sad news that Dotty recently passed away.   She had suddenly got very thin, frail and tired (but she had reached a fantastic age of around 19 years old.)  Dotty really missed her soulmate Bruno after he passed away last year – she would no longer sleep by herself and for a while she refused to eat anything other than lasagna!  We of course spoiled her to bits because even with her blind eye, her bald patches and her boils she was a precious princess who wouldn’t have harmed a fly!  We do miss her terribly.  Both dogs have left a big hole in our lives, but we are so thankful for the 3 years we had with Bruno and the 4 years with Dotty as we have many funny and happy memories.

“Attached are a couple of photos of Dotty – one of her trying to round up our piglets who kept escaping and one of her enjoying the sunshine!”

We’re so sorry to hear of the loss of this lovely old pair but what a good innings they had and died in the knowledge they were loved and cared for.




Max was adopted from the Ark 5 years ago and has been a constant companion ever since. Very sadly, he had to be put to sleep on Thursday 9th March and his mum has since written to us and sent some photos:

“As you are aware Max passed away Thursday, as we got him from you I thought I’d send you some of my favourite pics of the gorgeous little man. When I see him in your kennels I fell in love with him instantly, I ran to the office to secure him before anyone else could. When we brought him home he settled in very quickly and ruled the roost. I had 5 years with the little man and loved every minute, he really did become my best friend, he followed me everywhere, I can honestly say I feel lost without him. With this in mind if you have any position available for dog walking or cleaning please give me a call.”







Gemma is feeling the awful grief familiar to anybody who has lost a much loved pet. She’s also displaying the need to be around dogs but finding it too soon to think about another pet yet. We see a lot of people in Gemma’s situation and welcome anybody needing a doggy or pussy fix to get them over a difficult time. Our sympathy goes out to her as this sad time.



Shelley arrived at the Ark in 2009 via the Blue Cross where she’d been handed in as too aggressive. However she was rehomed to a shelleyfamily and the comments below just show what a lovely cat she actually was. They sadly lost her on 3rd december ’16:

“Just to let you know that our beloved Shelley Straycat, who we adopted from you about eight and a half years ago, made her final visit to the vet yesterday. She had become quite thin and ill over the last couple of weeks and was fading fast. She was an old lady,as you said you thought she might be nine or ten when we adopted her.

“Shelley brought so much joy into my life and into the life of Sharon, my partner. We loved her like crazy, and was the best friend and companion we could have hoped for. I know we will see her again over Rainbow Bridge one day.

“Thank you for letting us take her into our lives. Although we are full of grieaf and pain today, I am sure that, when the time is right, we will be along to see if we can help out another of your older feline residents.
Love and best wishes to all at The Ark.”

Shelley’s story proves there are two sides to every story and that she’d found a home where she felt loved and at home and therefore happy. Our sympathy goes to her family who have obviously lost a good friend and we hope they’re comforted by many happy memories and the fact that it was a two-way street and they gave her as muchas she gave them.



henryOn the 7th October, 20016 Henry was PTS in my arms. He had been diagnosed in 1st March with an enlarged heart and over the following months his
condition slowly took its toll.
Henry, renamed Henry O’Shaughnessy, was an Ark rescue and came to live with me and be my friend on 25th November 2014. He was a handsome, gentle, sweet natured and very loving and clever rabbit.
Quote Lewis Carroll: “He was part of my dream, of course– but then I was part of his dream, too.”



A song for Henry.




Lewis had an unsettled life before coming to the Ark as nobody seemed to want to commit to him and yet, he was such a friendly, loyal and playful boy. But after a couple of false starts, he found the perfect home and family where he’s been for almost 7 years. We’ve had updates on him from time to time and know that he was much loved but also loved his family back. Now sadly he’s had to be put to sleep following a stroke and his mum has written to tell us what a wonderful dog he was:

Hello dear friends. You may remember Lewis, who my husband and I adopted in Dec. 2009 I think it must have been. .I thought you would like to know he had a stroke on 21st. July and I had to have him put to sleep. He was 14 or 15 years old and was the dearest boy imaginable. I lost my husband too in March and Lewis and I shared our grief and supported each other in a wonderful way. Lewis was devastated when Rupert died. Thank you so much for all you did for us. Lewis has been on the Happy Endings page a couple of times. Every good wish to you all.”

Our sympathy goes to Lewis’s mum at his loss in what must have been a sad and difficult year for her. We hope she finds solace in all the wonderful memories she has.

lewis lewis











Sonny, Ark name Tyson, was in the Ark twice in 2012 and again in 2014 so was with us a while during his two stays. tysonHe was an adorable boy, often seeming young for his age but didn’t do well in kennels as he just wanted to be around people all the time. We’ve now sadly heard of his death, aged around 11 years old and his family is understandably mourning his loss.

“Sorry for not informing you before, but have been quite heartbroken. Our forever dog Sonny who we got from you 2 years ago and was called Tyson, has passed away, he had Lympangeitas disease of the small intestine.

“Though we miss him deeply, we have such wonderful memories of him and his ways, he was our best friend .”

Our sympathy goes out to Sonny’s family as we all know how they’re feeling. We hope their happy memories will sustain them through this sad time.



Bruno & Dottie came to the Ark back in January 2012 following the death of heir owner. Bruno was already 18 years old and Dottie 16. They were very stressed and defensive on admission but eventually settled and became friendly. It must have been such an upheaval for them at that age and we were delighted when a retirement home together was offered and where they’ve been ever since. Now, sadly, Bruno has died and Dottie must miss him so much. Their family has written to tell us:

“With great sadness, I am writing to inform you that Bruno passed away this week. We took Dotty and Bruno from the Ark to live with us just over three years ago. At the time you believed that they were 16 and 18 years old. This now would have made Bruno the grand old age of 21!

“He had been quite poorly and tired for a few weeks beforehand. Remarkably, Dotty seemed to know that he wasn’t going to be with us for much longer as towards the end she kept squeezing into his bed with him (although this did seem to annoy him rather than give him comfort!)

“We are all missing him dearly, yet feel blessed that he was such a big part of our family. Thank you for allowing us to take Dotty and Bruno home! Attached is our favourite photo of Bruno taken last summer.”

How well those dogs must have been loved and cared for to live to such a great age and we know that Dottie will get all the love possible to overcome her loss of of her lifelong friend.


Harley, a giant Leonberger, arrived at the Ark in a terrible condition having been rescued from a dreadful breeder andharley brought straight round to us. His coat was in a such a dreadful condition that he had to be shaved and he was suffering from a genetic condition passed down from in-breeding. But once he was sorted out, he found a wonderful loving home, where he stayed until his recent death. His mum has written to tell us about him:

“I have been wanting to send you a message for a while but I have been so upset and finding it hard to tell my friends that we had to have Harley put to sleep back end of last year. He was 8 yrs old and suffered a massive heart attack.

“We still can’t believe he’s not here with us, I can honestly say I have never felt such a close attachment to a dog as I did Harley, I still talk to him every day and say night Harley every night, he wouldn’t go to bed unless he had a cuddle. We had him cremated and brought him home so when the time comes that I go, Big H will come with me. I do not understand why people can be horrible to animals, At Glen’s husky rallies he became our mascot, people loved him so much. We had a lot of fun with him, n he loved being part of the husky part, oh yeah lol.. The huskies taught him to howl !!! What a noise that was, he sounded like a Dinosaur roaring lol. Can I say a huge thank you for introducing us to him, he played a very big part in our lives. We loved him so much xx thank you x”

Rest in Peace, Harley. You were such a gentle giant and deserved a better start in life than you had. Thank goodness you were rescued so we could find you the home and love you had.


We’ve just heard from a family grieving for their beloved dog for whom they had to make that awful decision we all dread of having her put to sleep due to bone cancer. They’ve sent the following beautiful dedication to her which will ring so many bells for so many people. Just left click on the picture to enlarge sufficiently to read.






Ozzy’s family adopted him way back in 2003 and are heartbroken at losing him as he was such a part of their family. ozzyThey realise not many will remember him but just want to share that he came from the Ark and was loved to bits all his life. This is what they say about him:

“Sadly yesterday 5th Nov 2015 he passed away. In the last year hes had 2 illnesses we managed to get him bouncing back from. Sadly last night he wasn’t able to. Myself and my husband would like to thank you for bringing Ozzy into our lives; he will be missed more than anyone can know. Heartbroken, we really are, but to have given him a home for nearly all his life till he was an old boy was a gift and will treasure our memories with him forever.”

It doesn’t matter how long ago a dog left the Ark, or even if they were ever there, if it gives comfort to see a pet featured here, then we’re more than happy to do so. We all know what it’s like to feel like Ozzy’s family are right now.




I took Ellie from The Ark Rescue just over 4yrs ago at the age of 9yrs.
She had been in the Ark 5yrs and prior to that had been hung and beaten on a daily basis for over a year by a man and woman. The man got 3yrs imprisonment which wasn’t enough as Ellies life was totally wrecked. The woman only got a conditional discharge as she said she had been forced by him to carry this cruel act out.
The Ark thought Ellie was so traumatised that she would never be rehomed but would live her life out at The Ark.ellie
I came along and took her as 5yrs far too long for her to be in rescue. She needed to be in a loving home. People said to me you are good to take her but I did it solely for Ellie and not what people would think of me.
We had 4 good yrs together and for once she found love and warmth in her life.
We would walk the woods and she loved it through the fields of gold in the Summer.
She deteriorated over the past year as she had a stroke 15 months ago but she kept battling on as she had always done. But there comes a time when we must do the right thing. Her dignity was fading fast.
I told her as she slowing was slipping away “I’ve loved you Ells and so glad we met, run free now through those fields of gold with a new body and mind and wait for me”.
You see I believe and obviously everyone’s different, and you may not, that her soul is now with Jesus her Creator and now she has peace.
I’m so very glad I took Ellie into my home.
You see how important it is to rescue an animal. I do.
Thank you for reading this whoever you are and please if you ever get the chance do take a dog like Ellie home. She had 4 good yrs that she may never have had.No further explanation needed except to add that, having known Ellie since the day she arrived at the Ark, I visited her in her new home with Julie only 3 weeks after she was adopted and was amazed and thrilled to see Ellie responding so quickly to her new mum by dancing with her to music on the radio. I wouldn’t have believed the transformation had I not seen it myself. Julie was able to reach her where nobody else could and transformed her life and we can only say a massive thank you to Julie from all at the Ark. Run free Ellie.





Bo came into the Ark in a dreadful state with severe untreated arthritis and and covered in fleas which has caused an allergy covering her whole back, including an enormous open sore. She tolerated with such patience all the treatments we gave her and went to her new home to continue the care. Despite having lived a life of neglect at the hands of humans she remained such a loving dog and immediately became a firm favourite with everybody. So we were all beausaddened to receive the following from her grieving owner:”Just to let you know that Bo had to be put to sleep yesterday. Two weeks
ago my vet discovered a very large tumour in her stomach which they were unable to
remove. Even though I am totally distraught I know I gave her the best of
everything in her last few months of life and I would do it all over again for
her.”We know that she did have the best of everything and saw how happy Bo was in her home. We can’t thank her mum enough for giving her those few months of happiness and to know that she died knowing she was loved. Such a shame she couldn’t have had more of the good life before she went, especially as she was only around 10 years old. Run free now Bo.





Shika came into the Ark at the beginning of 2009, then about 3 1/2 years old, when her owners split up and the remaining one couldn’t afford to feed her. She was the loveliest, softest girl so it wasn’t long before she was adopted. Now sadly she’s died and her mum has sent this beautiful photo of her and a dedication:”It is with great sadness that Ishika have to inform you that our darling rescue dog
Shika died on 6th December 2014 whilst having an operation for cancer. She came to us from
you 5 years ago and has been the most gorgeous girl anyone could have wished
for, she will be so missed.”She was a very special girl – always giving and did some really lovely work for
Pet at Therapy in William Barcroft school and Clarendon Nursing Home. Every one
who met Shika loved her and she is so missed. She had a wonderful home with us
for just 5 years but every day was filled with love.”Not only did Shika give so much to her family but to society as well. That’s more than some humans manage in their lifetime. Well done Shika, you’ll be missed by your family and the wider circle of friends you made through your work as a PAT dog, but you’ll never be forgotten.





Dillon came to the Ark from another rescue around July 2006 when he was around 6-7 years old. He’d been taken there as a stray and failed to be adopted so we took him in and had no trouble finding him a home with his new young owner, who has just written to tell of his devastation at the loss of his best friend:”About 8 years ago I came and found my best friend at your rescue centre. It breaks my heart to inform you Dillon sadly had to be put to sleep a few weeksdillon barkle ago. He had been poorly for a short time after suffering a fit and becoming paralysed down one side, he had further fits and after consultation with the vet he had to be put to sleep as I couldn’t bear to see my best friend suffer.”On his last day I took him to the beach even though he couldn’t walk I knew he was happy to be with me. I’m so proud that I could give him the better life he deserved since collecting him from your centre, but he also gave me a better life too. I am so lost without my best friend but I know he is not in any pain now. So very hard to type this as I am fighting back the tears as I do.

“I just wanted to let you know as I know you had taken very good care of him before he came into my life. Maybe one day when I am ready I will return to your centre to give another dog a home.”

We send our sympathy to Oliver in his loss. There’s not one of us at the Ark doesn’t know how he’s feeling right now and hope we can find him another best friend when the time is right.




Hattie née Princess

Hattie came into the Ark with her lifelong companion Lady, now Hettie, when their owner had to be hospitalised. Bothhattie had sadly been neglected because he had been unable to care for them properly for some time and needed considerable vet treatment before they could be adopted. We were thrilled when they went together but life hasn’t been straightforward and Hattie hasn’t been in good health for some time. Sadly, the decision was made to put
her to sleep yesterday afternoon and she died at peacefully at 4pm. Her mum has written a memorial to her:”My Hattie was a pleasure to have looked after. Everyone said how cute she was. She loved her stroller, it was a god send at times. Children would come and stroke her and feel sorry for her cos she could never move very well. She was gentle and had a beautiful sole. Not a nasty bone in her body. I will miss her dearly but know one day she and all my babies will all meet me when i pass. Night night Hattie xx”
rainbow bridge



We rescued Sooty as a 4 week old kitten, not too long ago. His mother died so he was orphaned. He quickly settled Sootywith my wife and I and we grew to love him so much. Sooty changed our lives by giving us love and fun. He was the most amazing cat.Sadly, aged just 7 months, Sooty was hit by a car, not too far from his home. I found him on my way to work. It didn’t look like he suffered and we hope to God he didn’t. He’s been gone a week now and we cannot cope with our grief. We are totally broken and miss him so dearly. Life is so unfair, he was so young and full of life. Hopefully, when the time is right, we hope we can bring ourselves to give our love to another needy cat. We will never forget our Sooty.Steve and Sandra Timewell





Stitch came to the Ark in 2009 when he became jealous of the baby in his home, to the extent that he’d search out the baby’s clothes from the laundry basket and destroy them! He’d had a very pampered life with his own room and sofa stitchtill the baby arrived and he didn’t like being usurped, so must have loved going into a home without any small children. His mum has said of him:”I adopted Stitch in October 2009 from the Ark. He had fallen ill in kennels, and I had to wait six weeks before I could fetch him.
I chose him as he was a lurcher and cat friendly.
He was a beautiful natured dog, and although 9 years old at the time of adoption, he was young at heart and remained so until he died.
“He enjoyed good health, apart from a lump he developed on his underbelly which was drained and not thought to be of any concern.
“The end came quick, Stitch woke me up with a cry one morning in my bedroom. He died within the hour from heart failure.”





It is with great sadness that I am writing to let you know that we have lost Indie (Tish) in a freak accident this tishmorning.
We have only had her less than a year, but she has stolen our hearts. She has enjoyed hunting in the fields around our smallholding, bringing a regular supply of mice to the door. We have suspected that she was also an accomplished rabbit catcher given the ‘evidence’ often found by the dogs.She will be greatly missed for her loving cuddles especially in the early hours of the morning.
In due course we hope to return to The Ark and hopefully find a worthy successor to her.





Foxy arrived at the Ark when his owner died so must have been very happy to join another family after suddenly lostfoxy all he knew without warning. His new family have now lost him:”Unfortunately Foxy died this morning. He was breathing fast for two days which we thought was because of the heat. However he just wanted to lie down when I took him for a walk and just wasn’t his perky self. I took him to the vets this morning and they found blood in his stomach which he thought was a burst tumour and they operated shortly afterwards. The vet rang me soon after as there were several small tumours also present which had spread and Foxy had sadly passed when I got back to the vets. All I can say is he was well loved, and we gave him all the happiness we could in the 7 months we had him.”R.I.P Foxy Sweet dreams xxx”





Bart came into the Ark with his parents when their owners were evicted. We’ve now heard the sad news of his bartdeath:“I am just letting you know the very sad news of Bart’s death last Monday. Our poor, poor lad had lung cancer and had to be put to sleep. We had Bart from you six years ago on the 11th of October, 2008 and I thought you may like to put the information on your remembrance page. Poor Bart started to have difficulty breathing about a month ago when the hot weather started and the vet checked his heart, lungs etc. and could find nothing wrong. Two weeks later we took him back again and a x-ray showed secondary lung cancer, it was heart-breaking to watch him going downhill for another two weeks and last Monday poor lad could go on no longer.”Bart had a very loving life with us, he had a sister Elsie, (a black cross poodle/collie) he enjoyed many caravan holidays and visited many places with us. Our only regret is that we only enjoyed him for six years. He was a very loving and special lad and can never be replaced.”





Charlie, the adorable 12 year old Rottie cross, had to come back to the Ark last August as her family was moving into charlierented accommodation and couldn’t take her. Happily she wasn’t with us long and had found the perfect home for her retirement years. Sadly, those years were’t to be as many as hoped and we’ve just had the sad news of her sudden death yesterday, 19th April 2014. Her devastated family has written:“I’m very sad to tell you all that we have had to say goodbye to Charlie yesterday.”We were walking over on the dunes and she ran to greet a doggy friend. She screamed and collapsed. She did take a few tentative steps and with help we carried her home. Thought she may have just jarred it but later she couldn’t get up so took her to the vets. He Xrayed her and found that she had broken her leg. We didn’t realise because she was so good. She would have needed pins and at least 6 weeks to get over it. The leg she broke was actually her best leg. She couldn’t support herself on 3 legs and with her age, severe arthritis and with the Vet’s advise we decided to end her pain and let her go.

“She gave us 8months of absolute joy. Everyone adored her. People & dogs alike.

“Thank you for letting us adopt her.”

To be described as an absolute joy and adored by all is a wonderful accolade to a dog whose aim in life is to be loyal and to please her human family. Charlie achieved that aim tenfold.





Lexi, a young Border Collie, came into the Ark just a year ago in April 2013, the pet of an elderly couple who couldn’t cope with the rigours having a lively young dog. She’d had a few “episodes” which made us suspect she was epileptic and tests at our vets confirmed this and she was started on medication.This made her difficult to rehome and she’d developed a bond with one of our staff, so eventually Gemma took her home. She wanted to keep her eye on her so brought her to work each day and Lexi became very much a part of the Ark and everybody, staff and regular visitors alike, loved her and stopped to talk to her and fuss her. Sadly, despite the treatment and increased medication, the fits became more frequent and more severe and when she developed a state of not responding to treatment, the vet lexiadvised it was best to call it a day and let her go. Her quality of life had deteriorated and Gemma had to make that decision we all dread. lexi wasn’t quite 2 years old when she was put to sleep on 9th April 2014.Gemma has written a dedication to the adorable dog she loved so much:

Letting you go was the hardest moment of my life, but I’m glad I could be there with you at the end. You’ve left a big hole in my heart that no one can ever replace. Although our time together was short, the impact you made on my life was great and the memories I will always cherish.
You will remain in my heart forever. x”

We’ll all miss Lexi, but none more than Gemma, who has the love and support of all who know her and Lexi.





The Ark has just received the following message:“It is with a heavy heart that I write to say that Tyler died on Friday night after suffering a stroke, my family and I are heartbroken.
Tyler was an animal rescue and he chose us to live with almost eleven years ago when he was about two years old. In this period he has filled our lives with joy, fun and not least quite a bit of mischief !
I would be most grateful if you could put this small memorial to him on your website in the hope that people are encouraged to give a good home to one of your lodgers in the sure knowledge of all the joy they get in return”TYLERJust the bestJust this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, tylerwater and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigour; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….Till then dear friend xWe send our sympathy to Tyler’s family who have obviously just lost a wonderful friend.





Daisy was a stray and was rehomed before it was sadly confirmed that she had feline
leukaemia and had to be put to sleep. Her owners are heartbroken, even though she
hadn’t been with them very long. For those who have difficulty reading the verse, see
What is a Cat?Gentle eyes
That see so much,
Paws that have
The quiet touch.Purrs that signal
“All is well”
And show more love
Than words can tell.Graceful movements
Touched with pride,
A calming presence
By our side.A friendship that
Will last and grow —A lovely dedication to a lovely cat.





Alfie was adopted from the Ark in 2009 by the sister of a supporter. We’ve just received the sad news that he’s died:“Unfortunately he developed a blood clot in his bad leg at the weekend which left him unable to use his rear legs and in alot of pain and discomfort, sadly the kindest thing to do was put him to sleep. He went to live in the stars on the 4th of January 2014 and will be privately cremated on 7th January. Rachael is obviously devastated, he was  well loved and a very happy old man. RIP Stick dog xx”Bless him, it loks as if he had lots of fun during the last years of his life despite his advancing years and ‘gammy’ leg.




Candy came to the Ark back in April 2009 when her owner was no longer well enough to look after her. She had a heart condition and was on medication and we wondered if we’d manage to find her a home – until a lady with veterinary knowledge and contacts turned up. She has written with the sad news that Candy has died at the beginning of October 2013 and describes all that has happened to Candy and what she meant to her family:“I am very sad to let you know that our lovely dog Candy died last week. We got her from the Ark in May 2009, where we stopped on our way to London. Although we did not plan to visit the Ark to get a dog, there was not a day we regretted this visit, as we ended up with Candy in the back of the car.
“Candy at that time was treated for a heart condition, and received a lot of medication, which started seriouslycandy affecting her health. Fortunately, although I don’t work in veterinary practice I am a vet by training, and a dog cardiologist friend of us diagnosed just in time that the heart condition could be resolved by surgery, and Candy didn’t need any medication any longer. Unfortunately, health was not a blessing this dog was given for long. In 2010, she had a tumour on her head removed, and in the beginning of 2012 she lost a hind leg in an accident along the train line. All this did not stop Candy to be an affectionate, friendly, loyal, lively and happy dog, who made many friends with dogs and people, dragged us enthusiastically into any squirrel hosting woods (or guiness serving pubs…) she could sniff out, and managed to put a smile on nearly everybody’s face.
“4 weeks ago she suddenly developed fits, which were initially thought to be epilepsy, but turned out to be the results of a lung tumour affecting her heart.She died last week, and we are very sad.
This dog is leaving a big gap not only in the life of Derek and myself, but many other people’s too. A 3-legged friendly dog, that loves people and pubs usually calls for attention, but she also managed somehow to connect with people who are not normally interested in dogs (or in other people), and we made through her some now very close new  friends. I think that Candy did find a very good home with us, but she was also very good for us. We are very sad, and will miss her more than words can express. But we are also very grateful for the years we had with this rather exceptional dog. And thank you again for making this happen.”She has since added:”We always suspected one of her former owners to have owned or lived in a pub, since the dog was so very keen on getting into them. After Candy lost her leg, she showed a really remarkable reaction, if I had not seen that myself I would have problems believing it. For about a week after she lost the leg, the dog was really depressed, not in pain or so, but really not interested in life any more. She remained calm and friendly, and we took her on short walks, but she really had lost any interest, and just wanted to go back home. One evening, we took her to a pub nearby, and the moment Candy saw the pub, the dog changed within a second. She suddenly pushed forward, wriggled her way into the pub, placed herself under a table and was happy again. From that moment on she was her usual old self again, chasing squirrels, barking at the postman, even jumping over a small fence, completely ignoring the fact that one hind leg was missing. Many people didn’t even notice that the leg was missing.
That particular pub was nothing special, we don’t even go there much, but the dog had obviously figured out that life was going on even if something as dramatic as a missing leg had happened to her. In this regard we probably all could have learnt something from this dog.”Candy packed a lot of bad luck into her 7 years but also lived life to the full and has proved an inspiratiom to her family and others. That’s a legacy worthy of any human, let alone an animal.





The following has been written by Sony’s devasted mum and needs no introduction from us as she’s said it all:“Please can you put this on the site he deserves to be remembered, he was such a special baby and we will miss him so much. Thank you.”It breaks our hearts to say we have lost our very special boy Sony on 27th August 2013 who we adopted in July 2009 from The Ark, we are truly heartbroken to have lost such a special boy but we know we were blessed with him accepting us as his new family for 4 beautiful years.
He went from picture 1 to looking like a different dog in picture 3 in months after some tlc and good food after being sonypicked up as a stray May bank holiday 2009. Picture 2 is of him playing and relaxing with his dad who he loved so much.”When we took him for his first visit to the vets it was so obvious he had been abused by men as he was very scared of them but his dad won him over in months to come with his special walks they did together and the yummy food his daddy fed him. Sony was our very first Rescue babe and he won’t be our last…he came with some problems but he soon settled with us and learned to trust again and he loved returning to the Ark for his holidays and letting his Auntie Sue and her staff know he was back for a visit too.”We have had this wonderful breed for over 30 yrs and he was the most gentle, loving and super clever babe we have ever had in our family, never showing any signs of anything but love for all and any animal he came across too; some of his best pals were the cows in the village where we live.”I could write a book on this babe here but I won’t. Sue..you chose us as his new family and we thank you so much for doing that. From the day he entered all our family’s hearts he was loved with a passion. He loved children too…..what more can I say but we will miss you Sony puppy. FOREVER…..LOVE YOU BABE….XXXX your heart broken Mummy and Daddy and family here and in Canada.”We all knew Sony well, not only from his short time in the Ark but also from his “holidays” spent there, and everybody is shocked and saddened by his loss at such a young age. Our sympathy goes out to his mum and dad and their family.



Ellie, now Nellie, came into the Ark in 2010 with her friend, a German Shepherd called Levi, when their owner was evicted. They were a difficult pair to rehome together as they were both large and elderly and in the end we decidednellie the only way to get them a loving home was separate, resulting in both going to fantastic, happy homes.Sadly we’ve just heard that Nellie has just died at a grand old age of around 20 years. She doesn’t look it in the picture, does she? Her very sad family has written of her:”We just thought you would like to know that we had to have our dear Nellie (was Ellie) put to sleep today (27th Aug ’13). We had her for 2 years and 4 months and she was a pleasure right until the end. Her back legs let her down in the end and she was struggling to get around. We think she was around 19 to nearly 20 years old as she was about 17 1/2 when we got her from the Ark.
She was much loved and we will all miss her very much.
I have attached a photo of her taken this summer.”Our sympathy goes to Nellie’s family as well as our thanks for giving such an old lady very happy last years.




Blake & Patch

Blake is an ex-Ark cat that came in at the end of 2009, aged 6-7yrs when his owner was moving house. He’s been



living with his new family since and been much loved. His devastated owner has written of him:“It is with deep sadness that on Saturday 17th August (2013) we had to have Blake put to sleep. He had suffered with kidney problems for 2 years and was on a special diet and had medication. Last week he became ill again and his kidneys were so severely damaged that he only had a matter of weeks to live even if treated again. The vet recommended that he was put to sleep. We had three and half years with one of the most devoted and loving cats we have had. We really miss him. He is now buried with Patch (also ex Ark cat) and our persian cat Kai in a corner of the garden.”Once again, our sympathy goes out to this family as they also lost Patch (see below) recently.

Patch was an ex-Ark cat that came in for rehoming last year with his mum and her most recent litter of kittens as



their owner couldn’t cope with them all. Now, his owner has written with some sad news about him:

“It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Patch our loving cat was hit by a car Friday night and died shortly after before we could get him to a vet. He was a wonderful loving cat and is deeply missed by us including our Yorkie who was a great companion to Patch and they often played together and slept in the same dog bed.”

Our sympathy goes to his new family who must be upset and shocked after such a short time together.




“Back on 13th May 2005 my family & I were very lucky to adopt Angus A 4 year old staffie X . During the past eight years he has brought such joy & happiness being at my side when I had cancer. Adjusting well from the move from living by the coast in Trusthorpe to the countryside of Stroud in Gloucestershire.” In 2008 we introduced him to a kitten Called Bear. They have become firm friends, enjoying playing  sleeping and when no one is watching sharing each others food. The following year Baby Brogan ( my Grandson) joined our family, and there are many photos over the past couple of years of these 2 sharing Angus’  bed.”But now my dear friend is feeling old he has problems with his heart and his legs are failing him. so on Friday the the 14th of June we will say good bye, my heart breaks but I knowangus the time is right.

“I Wanted to say a big THANK YOU for allowing us to love and cherish him, I have attached a photo took of us in the garden this week. ( you and some of your helpers may remember his handsome face, his front leg had been broken and set wrong when he had come to you and he had a small scar on his back).

“Once again Thank you for the gift of Angus.”

We couldn’t add anything more fitting to this moving message except to say that we thought of you all yesterday and understand your pain and sorrow right now. Anybody reading this who has lost a beloved pet will know what you are going through right now. Angus will be forever in your hearts.




Oliver’s Poems

The following poems were written and sent by a lady who’d lost her beloved dog, Oliver and show the grieving process from its raw beginnings to the point when one is ready to move on. That time is different for everybody but they demonstrate the emotions as the healing process takes place and have been such a comfort to readers of this page that we felt we had to leave them in. The lady herself is now a volunteer for the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement service and helps other people work through their loss. She has also written a book of “Oliver” poems.

Ode To Oliver
It’s five months now, my lovely boy
The months have been and gone.
Forever since you left my side, but oh!
The memory lingers on.
That last day – it broke my heart
The pain so hard to bear.
But you seemed ready, all set to go
To another life – elsewhere.
I must move on, my dear, dear lad
But from day to day, you’ll see.
The love we shared, the fun we had
Will be cherished forever – in me.
So thanks again, my faithful friend
I’ll try not to be so sad
But treasure the walks, the games, the love
And the brilliant time we had.
January 2005
Six Months On
(remembering my splendid dog Oliver)
Six months now, can it be true?
The pain still feels so strong
The silent days, the empty nights
The days have seemed so long.
My boy, my lad, my “bestest” pal –
The names all mean the same
The most loyal friend I ever had
Or ever will again.
I miss you so – I think you know?
But one day we’ll be joined in Love
Running free – just you and me
Across Rainbow Bridge above.
So wait for me, my faithful friend
Can’t wait to see your face
Once again, life will be good
In that happy, joyous place.
We’ll do the walks we used to do
Play the games that were such fun
Can’t wait, can’t wait, my lovely boy –
Celebrate – NEW LIFE BEGUN!17th
Feb 2005
Twelve Months

We’ve done it now, boy – twelve months have passed.
A few more years, that’s all I asked.
But God had other plans.
The day had come for you to leave.
The time for me to yearn, to grieve.
Your collar treasured within my hands………..

Your lead is torn and frayed from play –
Used as a toy on walks each day.
You tugged and chewed it – you thought it fun!
The toys that squeak are silent now.
The house SO quiet – still strange somehow.
The year of change has now been done……….

Your bed and blanket, now gone at last;
The final remnants of the past.
A ray of hope can now begin
What’s left is precious and beyond compare –
That silky, lustrous lock of hair
And the joyous memory that lives within……..

August 2005

And two years on…
Not Here

Hot, September afternoon
Feels so warm, last night full moon.
But you’re not here……
Autumnal colours, sleepy haze
Birds all quiet, shorter days
But you’re not here…….

Soon be winter, first frosts and dew
Walks in silent woods to do
But you’re not here……
The time has passed, now two years –
Can’t believe so many tears
Are you still not here?……

I close my eyes – yearn and seek
Then – a brush of fur against my cheek
Yes – you’re here!!
That love we shared will never die
We’re still together, you and I
Walkies, Oliver?


I defy anybody reading these poems not to have at the very least a lump in the throat. Anybody who has lost a loved pet, either recently or not so recently, will understand fully this lady’s feelings, from raw emotion to the gradual coming to terms with the loss of her beloved pet, but never ever forgetting him and the good times they had together.

We’ve just heard from Oliver’s owner again and she’s written another poem about him. It may be entitled “No More Tears” but it certainly brings tears to the eyes. It also shows that there comes a time to move on without ever forgetting a loved one and this lady is now doing just that. She says this is her latest and maybe (not sure) final poem about Oliver.

No More Tears

No more tears
The crying’s done
No more tears
We’re still as one

The love we shared, the fun, the joy
Forever – my lovely boy
No more tears

No more tears Move on at last
No more tears
The past is passed

The fun we had, locked in my heart
Never, ever to be apart
No more tears

No more tears
Let’s look ahead
No more tears
Let’s laugh instead

I loved you then, I love you now –
I did survive – I don’t know how!
No more tears, Oliver – just precious memories
Bless you, my special lad



Well it wasn’t the final poem and Oliver’s Mum has written another one, just as lovely as all the others marking the 7 years’ anniversary of his death and showing that you never forget but life carries on regardless. However, there’s still comfort from feeling his presence but she can now “let him go”.

“The Visit”

My restless thoughts now turn to you
A smile then appears
Happy memories, fun-filled days
Dispel the falling tears

Can it really be that long?
The years have quickly flown
Keeping busy, day by day
But – different, on my own

Never dreamt I’d still be sad
Through 7 lonely years
But close my eyes, really tight
And suddenly! You appear…………..

So Oliver, my lovely lad
My oh so handsome boy
Please stay awhile at my side
And fill this aching void.

How wonderful to have you here!
My joy hard to express
So long it’s been to feel this way
And know such happiness……….

Now back to Rainbow Bridge you go
It’s time again to part.
But see you soon, run free, have fun
You’re forever in my heart.

I miss you, Oliver.

August 2011